- 1 pound Oriental Company Chow Mein Noodles
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1/4 pound 93% ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 3 celery stalks, including the leaves, roughly chopped
- 3 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 package of Hoo Mee Gravy Mixture
Whooweee! I’m creating this post with a belly as full as can be. I should be out walking, but that will come later. First I must tell you about my recent trip to my hometown and one of our family’s favorite foods!
While visiting family in Fall River, MA, we took a trip to the Oriental Chow Mein Company. As soon as I got out of our van, I could smell the aroma of freshly made noodles! Childhood memories flooded my mind. It was hard to believe that this building had suffered a terrible fire in June of 2009. It looked the same to me.
Before moving from Fall River, MA to Poughkeepsie, NY and then to Asheville, NC and NOW Raleigh, NC (I’m exhausted just typing it), I thought everyone had the same type of chow mein noodles. Wrong. I must say however that these are my favorite kind. I guess everything tastes better back home, and well, I prefer the thin, crunchier noodles to the thick, hard noodles. Just my opinion, but I’m sticking to it. (And believe me these noodles stick to me, too, but they’re worth it!)
The hubster and I got to see how the noodles are packaged in the little Fall River store on Eighth Street.
Here the owners pack an order of their “Original Hoo Mee Chow Mein Mix.” The mix comes with the packet of sauce which gets cooked in beef stock and a box of noodles. I purchase the noodles in big bags.
The owner gave me a great tip. Because I purchase a large quantity of noodles in bulk, the owner ( gotta love the Red Sox hat) suggested that I freeze the bags of noodles when I got home. He told us they would stay really fresh that way – great! We like fresh. Because the noodles are fried, and well, not the healthiest thing in the world (but, oh so good!) we only eat this about once a year, okay, maybe twice if we’re feeling rebellious.
1. In a skillet, saute ground beef, celery and onions in canola oil. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine 1 packet of gravy mix with 1/2 cup beef broth (not warm).
3. In a large saucepan bring 3 cups of beef stock to a rolling boil. Add the gravy mixture and stir until thickened, about three minutes.
4. Add gravy to beef mixture and serve over chow mein noodles. it’s just that easy!
Another way this recipe is enjoyed is between two hamburger buns…yup, a chow Mien Sandwich and the are FAMOUS in New England! Why? Because they are THAT GOOD!
Although the popularity of the Chow Mein Sandwich peaked some forty to fifty years ago, it is still a favorite menu item in Fall River Chinese restaurants and as far southwest as Providence Rhode Island. One restaurant in East Providence reputedly sells between nine to ten dozen a day, perhaps a mere trifle compared to the largest Chinese restaurant in Fall River that sold more than two million during its forty year existence.
To many Fall River natives, the Chow Mein Sandwich is associated with their youth. Rather than stopping at a fast food drive in during the 1930’s and thereafter, when hungry they would drop by the local Chinese restaurant for a sit down meal of a Chow Mein Sandwich, French Fries, and an Orange Soda. In the early 1990’s in Fall River, the Chow Mein Sandwich was still popular. So much so that it remained a part of the school lunch menu.